Saturday, April 8, 2017

REVIEW: Robo-Tea: 1 Cup! (game)

Robo-Tea: 1 Cup! is a short free/pay-what-you-want visual novel, available here.


Robo-Tea: 1 Cup! is a cute little dating sim. You play as Galine, aka “Gal,” a guardbot at a SpacePort on the planet Verdande. At the start of the story, Gal is in the breakroom at work, having a snack and fantasizing about being somewhere more exciting. Vals, Gal’s supervisor (I think?), asks Gal to watch over a bot who was recently picked up from a damaged ship. The bot, Revek, is scheduled to be shipped back to their home. Your choices determine whether Gal goes out on a date with Vals, spends time with Revek, or does something else entirely.

Gameplay is pretty simple. No stat-building (thank goodness!) - all you have to do is decide between one of two possible responses at various points during the story. If you want to try out other choices without having click through a bunch of text screens over and over again, no problem! You can save the game whenever you like and then go back to those points and try different options, you can use the game's "back" button, or you can start over from the beginning and just make liberal use of the "skip" button. There are only two points where your decisions affect the story beyond changing the dialogue a little, and there are only three possible endings. I was able to go through the whole thing and try out all the possible choices in about an hour.

All in all, I enjoyed this. I had questions about the world-building, but it wasn’t too hard to turn my brain off and just accept the fluffiness and general setup. I liked that both of the romantic routes had some element of fannish excitement. The characters talked about comics, music, sweets, and tea. And there was a forehead kiss! And hand holding!

Both romantic routes were enjoyable but had some slight issues. For example, while Vals’ route was nice, I kept wondering about the whole “employee dating supervisor” thing. Neither character ever brought it up, so I guess they didn’t consider it a problem?

Of the two, I think I preferred Revek’s route the most. Gal had to be the absolute worst guardbot ever for that route to happen, but I didn’t really mind because, as far as I could tell, Revek probably shouldn’t have been detained in the first place.

There are a couple related games, plus a demo of the sequel. I liked this enough that I may give those a try too.

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